Planning in Northern Ireland faces big challenges in the future. The economic problems the rest of the UK is facing are compounded by its strong economic relationship with the Republic of Ireland. The Northern Ireland Executive has a programme of reorganisation of local government and an intention to devolve planning powers to the new local authorities. In view of this the RTPI is strengthening its position in Northern Ireland.
From 1 April 2012 RTPI staff in Northern Ireland will be led by a Head of RTPI Northern Ireland, a part time post which will be held by Roisin Willmott. Roisin, the current National Director RTPI Cymru, brings considerable and relevant experience to the role having to run the RTPI in a devolved UK country with existing local planning authorities. Roisin remains the National Director RTPI Cymru, and will be supported by part time policy officers and administrators in both Wales and Northern Ireland.
The two posts Roisin (pictured right) will hold will be entirely independent from each other. The arrangement is supported by the RTPI Cymru Management Board and the Northern Ireland Branch Executive. The arrangement will run for a year and be subject to a review.